Is Hammer about to remake its classic horror catalogue?

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Hammer owner and CEO John Gore has some intriguing hints at the future of the British institution in a new mini-documentary.

Between 1935 and 1979, Hammer Studios made 166 feature films and carved its name into the horror movie history books. Not all of these were horror films – far from it – but the studio’s fondness for Dracula, Frankenstein and other classically spooky icons is a legacy which has lingered long after Hammer’s golden age of horror came to an end.

Even now, discussions of the genre frequently draw comparisons to the very British juggernaut. Is your horror film slightly camp? Does it involve buckets of very red blood? Does your improvised stage show use a cheap Dracula cape as a prop? Chances are, invocations of the brand’s name aren’t far behind.

That’s all the more impressive because, in recent years, the Hammer horror brand has been pretty dormant. That’s not to say it hasn’t been making films: dig a little below the surface, and you’ll find that even pretty successful fare like 2012’s The Woman In Black and its 2014 sequel owe their existence to a company most associate with the 1960s.

In 2023, though, there’s some intriguing news dripping out of Hammer Films’ bloody big bucket. The company recently acquired distribution rights for Eddie Izzard’s Doctor Jekyll, currently haunting cinemas in the UK. Even more excitingly, in a new mini-doc, Hammer A.D. 2023 | The Past, Present And Future Of Hammer Films, the company’s new CEO, the appropriately named John Gore, has hinted at a plan for future Hammer horror flicks.

The documentary is age-restricted (probably because of all the splattery bits) so we can’t embed it here, but the whole thing is available on YouTube.

“It’s an honour, a privilege and a responsibility to own Hammer now going forward.” Gore says. “Something I loved as a kid is now something I hope I have the skill and wherewithal to take forward to future generations – in terms of remaking some of the things that happened before in the style of what happened before…”

“I want to know that there’ll be kids out there who watch things as I watched those and go, ‘gosh that’s fun,’ and, ‘that’s exciting’, and they’re not terrified, they’re thrilled. It’s a different kind of scare – it’s not The Exorcist, it’s a different feeling – and I want to bring that back.”

We’ve got chills – and it’s not the ominous wind that just blew through the office. It remains to be seen what might come of this – but you can be sure we’ll have the news when it does. We are, however, very excited.

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